Conference on Teaching and Learning

Active Learning and New Faculty Experiences

Monday, May 8, 2017

 Room: 212      

Time Presentation
10:00 - 10:20 AM
by Mary McCall
10:20 - 10:40 AM

The Ecology of Collaborative Course Development: Cultivating and Implementing an Effective Course Design Process

by Virginia Jones

 10:40 - 11:00 AM

 Increasing the Value of Online and Blended Courses Through Quality Matters Review

By Peggy Delmas

   
11:15 - 11:35 AM

Collaborative Support for Undergraduate Writing

By Meg Smith

11:35 - 11:55 AM

First Person Education: Using (MSR) Most Striking Revelation of the Week to Promote Critical Reflection in College Students

By Franco Zengaro

11:55 - 12:15 PM

In-Class and Out-of-Class Peer-Instruction Techniques 
By Tufan Kiymaz (withdrawn)

   
01:45 - 02:05 PM

Effectiveness of Team-Based Learning in an Introductory Speech and Hearing Sciences Course

By Kimberly Smith

02:05 - 02:25 PM

What happens when you try a new way of teaching? Student Opinions of Team-Based Learning

By Julie Estis

02:25 - 02:45 PM

Student-Centered Peer Evaluation in Team-based Learning Courses

By Lauren Brannan

   
03:00 - 03:20 PM

Combining an Authentic Research Experience with Discussion of the Primary Literature in an Undergraduate Microbiology Course

By Sinéad Ní Chadhain

03:20 - 03:40 PM

“On the Job” Learning: Incorporating Undergraduates in Actual Research Projects and Manuscript Submissions

By Glen Borchert

03:40 - 04:00 PM Possible Cengage Case Studies in Bio Demo after
   

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

 Room: 212

 
10:00 - 10:20 AM

Tread the Boards: Teaching Theatre Disciplinary Information Literacy to Mastery

By Beth Shepard

10:20 - 10:40 AM

Integrating an ePortfolio into Student Success

By Eric Light

   
11:15 - 11:35 AM

The Newbie Faculty Experience: A Survival Guide

By Jeremy Fletcher

11:35 - 11:55 AM

Confessions of a First-Time Active Learning User

By Hector Montford

11:55 - 12:15 PM Finally, TBL Success After Only Three Years By Cindy Stanfield

 

Back to Agenda

A Paradigm for High-Impact Learning in Gen Ed Courses
Mary McCall, Mississippi College
The challenge of 21st century higher education is in many ways centered around finding a way to shift an unbundled, fragmented approach to educating students back to a bundled, integrated approach to educating the “whole person.” While faculty members may have limited influence over how their institutions re-frame their learning ecosystems, they can control whether or not they design their courses to align with a paradigm for high-impact learning.  This high-impact learning paradigm seeks to develop the “whole person” by integrating domain knowledge with knowledge of the world and knowledge of the self (Bass, 2016).        
The presenter will share the course design of a 200-level literature survey course using this high-impact learning paradigm as a blueprint for faculty to follow in designing their general education courses across all disciplines.  The presenter will share how the course design is tied to a unifying course theme based on the high-impact learning model.  The presenter will share actual content from the literature course as “worked examples” and will use active learning strategies to guide faculty through mind-mapping how they might use the model in their course designs to support the learning outcomes of having students develop not only content knowledge, but also knowledge of why the content matters to the world and how it impacts their lives. Works Cited Randy Bass, ""Higher Education in the New Digital Ecosystem"" (July 27, 2016). Minnesota eLearning Summit. Paper 74.  http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/minnesota-elearning-summit/2016/program/74  

 

The Ecology of Collaborative Course Development: Cultivating and Implementing an Effective Course Design Process

Virginia Jones, Ashlie Pincince,  Shawndra Bowers,

Auburn University

Online course design and development is complex. It requires a broad set of skills and tasks and the application of appropriate learning theory, academic research, and design models to construct high-quality online offerings. Implementing best practices to enhance courses facilitates collaboration across project principals, encourages broad design perspectives and utilizes technology that can improve learning and student engagement.  This approach enables Auburn Online to deliver innovative, learner-centered online instruction that focuses on student success. As a new campus unit, establishing a course development process that capitalizes on the design and development frameworks of its team members and emphasizes active, student-centered learning while allowing faculty to creatively showcase their subject matter expertise is foundational. Key to this process is the role of the instructional designer and their ability to integrate personalized design models with content requirements, established outcomes, instructional needs, and the team's creative capacity. This presentation will discuss the evolution of AU Online's collaborative design process, the concept of personalized research-based design models, and their importance in providing a framework for developing rich, dynamic, and interactive online courses. Using visual metaphors, this developing framework will be shared and discussed along with initial reflections on the evolving project design process and directions going forward.

 

Increasing the Value of Online and Blended Courses Through Quality Matters Review

Peggy Delmas, Melissa Walter

University of South Alabama

 Learn how the Quality Matters (QM) review process and certification can improve the organization of your online or blended courses and help improve student performance in those classes. Courses that incorporate Quality Matters standards are learner-centered and thus more effective and engaging than courses not designed with the standards in mind. At Florida International University, which has the second highest number of QM certified courses in the U.S., more than 664 online course sections have been redesigned based on QM standards resulting in students logging in more often, staying engaged longer, and completing more coursework (FIU Online, 2016).

Students welcome the similarities between courses designed according to QM standards as confusion is reduced when starting a new course. The structured navigation and detailed instructions provided mean more time can be spent interacting with the instructor, other learners, and the course materials.  Presenters are an instructor who has received University-Level Quality Review designation for five fully online classes and two blended classes, and the Campus Coordinator for the Quality Matters initiative at USA.  They will describe their collaboration in preparing a course for the review process both from the perspective of a new course creation and a course redesign. Feedback from students who were enrolled in courses with the University-Level Quality Review designation will be shared as examples of the impact that QM can have on student learning.

Further, information for how attendees can receive QM rubric training will be presented. FIU Online. (2016). The benefits of Quality Matters certification: What the analytics reveal. Retrieved from: http://insider.fiu.edu/qmreport/

 

Collaborative Support for Undergraduate Writing

Meg Smith, Spring Hill College

April Sanders, Spring Hill College

Amanda ElBassiouny, Spring Hill College

This pilot study examines how writing tutors work with upper-division students in different disciplinary fields to support research writing. The college writing center and faculty members in Education and Psychology collaborated on this one-semester pilot study to establish a model of support for future use by faculty across the College. This inquiry into productive models of peer support and collaboration is situated in the research on generalist versus discipline-specific writing tutors (Dinitz & Harrington, 2014; Severino & Trachsel, 2008).  Students in upper-division Education and Psychology courses were required to visit the writing center for a research assignment. Data was gathered from writing tutors, the faculty members, students in both classes, and the director of the writing center in order to procure feedback from all groups on the efficacy of the proposed paradigm. Students in both classes and all writing tutors responded to Likert-type questions at the beginning and end of the semester. The four writing tutors involved in the study were interviewed in addition to the questionnaire. The faculty members and the director of the writing center completed a self-reflective written questionnaire at the end of the pilot.  The presenters will discuss findings of the study as well as qualitative observations that opened up new lines of inquiry into best practices for communication among students, tutors, and faculty. We will consider how student perceptions of peer support, institutional context and budget limitations inform options for designing effective models of support."

  

First Person Education: Using (MSR) Most Striking Revelation of the Week to Promote Critical Reflection in College Students

Franco Zengaro, Sally Zengaro

Delta State University

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the results of research on the role of reflection in learning beyond internalizing textbooks or lecture notes.  This study investigated how creative reflection could promote deeper understanding and critical thinking in university students.  Educators strive to create a classroom atmosphere conducive to critical thinking while struggling with time constraints that force the need to break concepts down into bits of one-class-period teaching, which often is not as effective as it needs to be.  Our study suggests that for learning to be truly an act involving primarily the learner, educators must first solve what Iran-Nejad & Marsh (1993) identified as the problem of relevance in education.  In the present study, we investigated the role of reflection in creating interest, involvement, and motivation in higher education classrooms. Having students reflect on their learning was important, first, because it showed a level of engagement with the ideas presented in class.  Second, the classes were methods classes and a class on diversity in education.  Both classes involved learning different ways of interacting as teachers with students in a classroom, and both involved challenging presently held concepts and learning more effective ways of teaching and communicating.  These reflective assignments helped meet the objectives of the classes as well as provide students with a deeper understanding of the issues.  Therefore, we concluded that reflective writing assignments helped students gain in-depth understanding of the issues so that they can integrate these concepts with their prior knowledge and experience.

 

Effectiveness of Team-Based Learning in an Introductory Speech and Hearing Sciences Course

Kimberly Smith, Julie Estis

University of South Alabama

Team-Based Learning (TBL) is an active learning strategy that combines pre-class guided self-learning with interactive small group learning (Hawkins, 2014). TBL fosters student accountability, critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. TBL has been implemented for years in professions like medicine and nursing, reporting increased retention, engagement, critical thinking, and higher examination scores, but few studies have examined its effectiveness in speech-language pathology and audiology (SLP/A). This study evaluated the effectiveness of TBL in an introductory Speech and Hearing Sciences course. Undergraduate students in Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders responded pre- and post-semester to the prompt “Based on your current understanding, provide a brief description of your understanding of the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and the types of disorders and clients they work with”. Responses were coded for key words in categories derived from the course learning outcomes (e.g., types of disorders, work settings, anatomy/physiological terms). Reliability of 87.5% or greater was reached for 10% of the samples for each time point. An overall trend for increased use of terminology related to SPA/A was observed for most categories based on the mean number of terms used per student from pre- to post-semester, with the exception of the Age Range of Clients category. Independent samples t-tests, however, indicated no statistical significance between time points for any category. Given the observed positive trends, further data collection and additional measures of student learning will be conducted to further explore the benefits of TBL.

 

What happens when you try a new way of teaching? Student Opinions of Team-Based Learning

Julie Estis, Cecelia Martin

University of South Alabama

Evidence-based, active learning approaches to teaching are implemented to improve academic success; however, faculty are often concerned with student impressions of the course when innovative instructional strategies are utilized. Since student opinions of instruction are central to tenure and promotion, this session provides insight on how to contend with faculty and student concerns related to a shift in pedagogical techniques. Team-based learning (TBL), implemented for our TeamUSA Quality Enhancement Plan, is a highly interactive approach to instruction. During this session, participants will discover methods of evaluating student evaluations of teaching (SET) and explore data related to the impact of team-based learning on student opinions of instruction. Specifically, we will provide examples of SET methods utilized (e.g., surveys, scaled-questions, open-ended questions). Quantitative and qualitative results of student evaluations of team-based learning will be reported. Outcomes from general student evaluations of teachings (e.g., ""Overall this course was poor/fair/good/excellent."") will be compared to specific questions assessing student perceptions of TBL (e.g., ""Solving problems in a team was an effective way to learn"" strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree).  In summary, the following participant learning outcomes will be addressed in this session: 1. Participants will discover methods of evaluating student opinions of Team-Based Learning and other pedagogical strategies. 2. Participants will describe the impact of an innovative pedagogy on student opinions of instruction.

 

Student-Centered Peer Evaluation in Team-based Learning Courses

Lauren Brannan, Hannah Szatkowski

University of South Alabama

Peer evaluation is a critical component of the team-based learning approach to instruction. There are many tools available to course professors and instructors, including paper-based methods and digital tools.  However, the available tools do not directly reflect the expectations and values that students hold in relation to working with a group of students.  The authors will present an alternative approach to peer evaluation that involves the construction of a peer evaluation instrument by the group of students who will be evaluated.

 

Combining an Authentic Research Experience with Discussion of the Primary Literature in an Undergraduate Microbiology Course

Sinéad Ní Chadhain, University of South Alabama

At many institutions biology majors’ only exposure to the field of microbiology occurs in a single elective course. This course fulfils many roles: serving as an introduction to the field, preparation for advanced coursework, and a prerequisite for many graduate or professional programs. At USA the course is also a writing intensive course. Historically the writing component was addressed by assigning a research paper. However, many students lacked the skills necessary to understand the sources they cited in their papers. The laboratory curriculum was also fairly standard with exercises where students learned aseptic technique, bacterial identification, etc. while working with known cultures. I wanted to incorporate an inquiry-based research project into our course that would address both the writing component of the course and incorporate authentic research into the curriculum. I combined blog-based discussions of research papers describing the isolation and characterization of naphthalene degrading bacteria with student isolation of naphthalene degrading bacteria. Research papers were posted in sections on a class blog and students were required to post a minimum of two comments on each section and write a paper summary once the discussion closed. At the same time each student isolated their own naphthalene degrading bacterium from a soil or water sample using techniques described in the discussion papers. The semester concluded with a poster session where students presented their research projects to the biology department community. The isolates are currently being sequenced and studied in a follow up research–intensive course in Experimental Bacterial Genomics. 

 

“On the Job” Learning: Incorporating Undergraduates in Actual Research Projects and Manuscript Submissions

Glen Borchert, University of South Alabama

The sequencing of whole genomes and the analysis of genetic information continues to fundamentally change biological and medical research. Unfortunately, the people best suited to interpret this data (biologically trained researchers) are commonly discouraged by their own perceived computational limitations. To address this, we recently developed a course to help alleviate this constraint. Remarkably, in addition to equipping our undergraduates with an informatic toolset, we found our course design helped prepare our students for collaborative research careers in unexpected ways. Instead of simply offering a traditional lecture- or laboratory-based course, we chose a guided inquiry method, where an instructor-selected research question is examined by students in a collaborative analysis with students contributing to experimental design, data collection, and manuscript reporting. While students learn the skills needed to conduct bioinformatic research throughout all sections of the course, importantly, students also gain experience in working as a team and develop important communication skills through working with their partner and the class as a whole, and by contributing to an original research article. Remarkably, in its first three years, this novel computational genetics course has generated 74 undergraduate authorships across four peer-reviewed articles. More importantly, the students that took this course acquired a positive research experience, newfound practical technical proficiency, unprecedented familiarity with manuscript preparation, and an earned sense of achievement. Although this course deals with analyses of genetic systems, we suggest the basic concept of integrating actual research projects into a undergraduate course could be applied to numerous other research-active academic fields.

 

Tread the Boards: Teaching Theatre Disciplinary Information Literacy to Mastery

Beth Shepard, Lars Tatom

University of South Alabama

Librarians often face the difficult task of designing disciplinary level information literacy instruction without knowing the students' research knowledge and skill set; this generally results in strategies that aim to the middle of what librarians would consider an appropriate level of student knowledge and skill. While this method does work, it also often leaves out the higher and lower performing students.  In situations like this, librarians often find themselves teaching research strategies based on knowledge the librarian incorrectly assumed the students already had.  This problem of designing learning strategies based on estimations of student knowledge has been addressed in the Theatre and Dance curriculum by providing purposefully designed information literacy and research interventions at strategic points in the major's curriculum.  These interventions are designed to teach discreet research skills in the discipline.  While the skills address the immediate research needs of the students at that point, they are designed to build as the students progress through the curriculum until they reach a level of mastery.  At each level, students demonstrate, through thoughtfully designed research assignments, what they have learned.  This "tiered" instruction culminates in their capstone level research project where the students synthesize what they have learned throughout their major and create a project that reflects the knowledge and skills expected of them as "masters" of disciplinary Theatre research.  This presentation will discuss both the design of strategic library instruction for an entire major and the teaching faculty/librarian collaboration required for a tiered instruction program. 

 

Integrating an ePortfolio into Student Success

Eric Light, University of South Alabama

To align with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) campaign and to help students integrate the “Essential Learning Outcomes” (AAC&U, 2008) into their educational experience; this fall I included an ePortfolio project in my first year experience (CAS 100) class.  In this presentation, I explain how I developed the portfolio assignment, specify the student learning outcomes, and provide artifacts or examples of student products. The main purpose of the ePortfolio is to enhance students’ learning experiences and to increase their engagement with their education at the University of South Alabama. ePortfolios are a place where students can keep track of what they have learned and document why they learned it. With an ePortfolio, students can creatively showcase their best learning artifacts using media that provides much richer viewing than a paper product.  They can also compare the work done at the beginning of their college career to the work they complete at the end of their degree program.  With some deliberate instruction, students may also use their ePortfolio as a source of products to share with employers, graduate schools, and the like. The ePortfolio gives students the opportunity to present their own evidence of skill developing towards mastery as outlined in the VALUE rubrics essential learning outcomes (On Solid Ground, AAC&U 2017).  

The Newbie Faculty Experience: A Survival Guide

Jeremy Fletcher, University of South Alabama

People are not born knowing how to be Professors. 95% of new faculty members make certain mistakes that cost them time, productivity, and sanity. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight some early successes and failures, as well as best practices of a faculty member in his second year of teaching.  

 

Confessions of a First-Time Active Learning User

Hector Montford, University of South Alabama

Every PhD candidate who takes “Teaching College History” at Auburn University spends some of their time discussing active learning in the classroom.  We read articles on the benefits and challenges that come with the process, and have our faculty discuss their own experiences with incorporating active learning.  Yet, what happens when the “rubber meets the road” for an instructor when they stand in front of a class for the first time and attempt this approach?   This presentation addresses the lessons learned by a new adjunct instructor in the University of South Alabama’s Department of History, who incorporated active learning into his own teaching style over the course of two semesters.  Using group work based upon readings and videos, the instructor synthesized lectures with these active learning methods when possible for forty five students in both his Western Civilization II and US History Since 1877 courses.   At their best, these activities proved successful, with full class engagement; at worst, the subject matter likely seemed immaterial to students desiring only the information they needed to pass the test. With both experiences, however, the end result was to create a livelier, more involved class.  Students seemed more willing to ask questions and engage with the instructor during traditional lectures than had occurred before the first active learning exercise.  More importantly, students seemed more interested in the active learning subject matter, and judging from the test results often fared better on questions concerning the topics covered during these exercises."

 

Finally, TBL Success After Only Three Years

Cindy Stanfield, University of South Alabama

Having gone to the first University of South Alabama sponsored Team-based Learning (TBL) training session, I was one of the more skeptical faculty members there (3rd according to Dr. Michaelsen's questionnaire). But he sold me on the idea and I started my first semester of TBL a few weeks later. I hit a brick wall. The wall was the students, who had no idea what Team-based Learning was and did not care to try it. Midway through the semester, two students had me so flustered with trying to get this to work that I told myself, "never again." Next year, I did it again, and not just in one course (Neuroscience), but I used it in a second course (Human Physiology 2). It went better, but there were still some non-believers in the class. The following year, I gave up on TBL. And that is how I learned what I was doing wrong. I found that I tried to cover more material using TBL then I could using traditional lectures. I put too much pressure on the students. I adjusted my classes this year, and I thoroughly enjoyed teaching in the TBL style, and my students enjoyed it as well. The lesson I learned: Do not over-estimate what your students can do.

 

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